The Loundoun County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night to go forward with a public plan aimed at removing Confederate and segregationist names from streets and other facilities and renaming them.
The vote opens the door to a process to change the names of areas and roads identified after a survey requested by the board.
“These are people that, you know, Loudoun County once chose to honor. The question before us is, do we still want to honor these horrible people? Do we want to turn the page to a Loudoun that welcomes everybody?” Koran Saines, the vice chair of the board and Sterling District supervisor, said.
Those already marked for a change include: Confederate Court, an unbuilt road scheduled for a subdivision; Early Avenue, named for a Confederate general; Fort Johnston Road, which commemorates a Confederate Fort; Hampton Road, named for a Confederate general; and Harry Byrd Highway, named for a Virginia governor who resisted desegregation.
Also on the list, and all named for Confederate generals, are Jackson Avenue, Jeb Stuart Road, John Mosby Highway (already marked for change), Lee Drive, Longstreet Avenue, “Mosby Heritage Area” signs and Pickett Road.
Geary Higgins, a county resident, spoke during public comments.
“I don’t know that the renamings are necessary. I don’t know what’s to be accomplished by that,” Higgins said. “I do know that the last time VDOT went through a renaming process it made everybody crazy because everybody involved on those roads has to change their addresses.”
The survey staff also identified a Loudoun County Parks, Recreation, and Community Service facility called Kephart Bridge Landing. It is named for a man who was an agent for the nation’s largest slave trading company, which was located in Alexandria, Virginia.
“This is not erasing history, there is no right to have roads or other things named after you, nor would changing these names erase these individuals from the history books,” Saines said.
The board also voted to expand the survey to see if any additional sites should be examined. The timeline opens up a period of public engagement before any name changes are made.